For years now I have been going to various barbers and having my hair chopped at a discount price. My recipe for hair style has not changed in years, so if asked (as rarely happens now as I am a regular at the one barber), I simply spout off the instructions required to restore my mane back to its regular manageable length and style.
One day, with time and a few bob to spare, and looking like Cousin It caught in a typhoon, I decided to break the age-long tradition and visit a “salon”. Unbeknown to me was that I had fallen into what can only be termed the “trendy-wanna-be’s” snare, which “Gotta get me some of those boots”, “I wonder what my hair would look like that colour”, and “I wonder what it’s like to be pierced there” all fall into the category of.
I went to a salon that a trendy friend of mine is a regular at, only to find that you need to book about 3 years in advance, hold a minimum of fifteen gold credit cards, and carry photos of your pierced genitals for identification, to even be considered. With this in mind, I steered clear of any salon that carried a sophisticated name of less than two syllables such as “Love”, “Lust”, “Streaks”, “Buoy” or “Flange” and looked instead for something a little less upper-echelon. This took the form of an obscure doorway labelled “Cindy’s Hair Sculptors and Tattoo Emporium” or words to that effect.
Walking in I found there to be no waiting area (let alone people waiting, or even in for that matter, the salon at the time), but there were mints on the counter, so I knew straight away that I was in the right place. Somebody with blue hair that defied gravity, and boots with heals that made her more that two feet taller than she naturally (not that there were a lot of things natural about her) was, sauntered up and asked me what I wanted there. I asked if I was in the right place for a simple cut and style. She looked at me, looked at my hair then looked at the suit I was wearing (it was a work day) then looked me back in the eye again as if she were mulling it over, contemplating whether I was worth it or not.
Needless to say I was lead in and sat down on a seat that had a mind of it’s own. It kept insisting on flipping back and attempting to crack my head open on a weirdly shaped basin of some description. After I had been sitting there trying to balance and not tip back for about an hour and a half, and wearing a floral poncho, a green haired hell-beast came swaggering out from some secret back room still finishing off something that resembled a member of the feline species and licking her lips. She looked at me with an air of disgust and asked me if I was being attended to. I told her no, and she rolled her eyes and with a flick of her wrist she flipped me back in the chair totally unbalancing me and wrenched my head back into the basin. She proceeded to shower my hair with water that ranged in temperature from freezing (I could feel needles of ice piercing my scalp and tearing into the flesh) to scalding within a period of about 5 seconds, then repeated the cycle several more times until she stopped it and started messing about with some bottles of chemicals.
All the time that this was going on she was chatting to her blue-haired buddy who had appeared again as if from nowhere about “having her nails done” (I believe she meant “claws sharpened” if it was the ones tearing into my scalp she was talking about) and “that guy that refills the Coke machine”.
Next a series of highly perfumed and particularly greasy concoctions were squirted onto my hair and promptly washed out leaving me bedraggled and smelling like I’d fallen into a vat of cheap Eau de Toilet-water. This humiliation over (I’m sure I saw a glimmer of mocking laughter in the eye of the blue-haired vixen) came time to ask what I wanted done. I attempted to explain my usual routine mop-chop to which she scoffed and proceeded to cut it how she felt appropriate.
It was at this point I started regretting not going to see George the Greek – my usual barber, as the implements of destruction she attacked my hair with were simply frightening. There were hedge trimmers, lawn edgers, a thing that resembled forceps, and finally a leaf-blower. I don’t recall much else, but I’m positive there were no scissors involved.
The result after about 15 hours in the wobbly chair, with two painted hounds from hell and a torturous ordeal, was what can only be described as a “bowl cut”. It wasn’t even a shapely bowl either! It was more like one of those round yellow Tupperware bowls that have the airtight plastic lid for holding leftover soup, or half a can of unused beetroot.
The next shock was when I came to pay. I was forced to make a down payment and proceeded to the bank to arrange a substantial loan and set up monthly payments to the salon. I did, however, take two mints from the counter (I think one of them had already been partially sucked and put back again), and received a voucher stating that after 11 more visits I would receive a free tattoo of my choosing.